Mitch Kupchak hoping Nick Young will “be a Laker for a long time”

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Nick Young has been quite a surprise for most Laker fans – myself included.

The 28-year-old guard somehow earned a reputation around the league as a poor man’s J.R. Smith. How wrong that assumption was.

While Smith is having one of the worst seasons of his career and is constantly in the media for the wrong reasons, Young has emerged as a vital part of Mike D’Antoni’s system and is averaging a team high 16.3 points per game while shooting 34 percent from three-point range.

When Young signed for the veteran’s minimum during the summer, many expected to see bad shot after bad shot on a nightly basis this season, but that has yet to be the case.

Sure, now and again Young will do something silly that will land him a spot on Shaqtin’ A Fool, but all players make mistakes now and again.

Overall, though, Young has been a breath of fresh air for this Lakers team, and that’s exactly why Mitch Kupchak hopes Swaggy P will be wearing the purple and gold for a long time.

In an interview with Mike Trudell of Lakers.com, Kupchak admitted he’d love to see Young stay with the team regardless of whether he opts-out of his contract after the season – he has a player option worth $1.2 million – saying the team would “certainly like to see him be a Laker for a long time.”

It would appear likely, at least at this point, that Young will opt-out of his contract when the season ends. At 16.3 points per game, Young is one of the league’s top 40 scorers statistically and will almost certainly garner a lot of interest around the league during free agency.

Whether the Lakers re-sign Young if he does opt-out will obviously come down to how much he’s looking for and the amount other teams are offering, though it would appear that there is strong mutual interest between the two sides to extend this relationship into the coming years.

Written by Ross Pickering

Ross Pickering is the founder of Lakerholicz.com. He's here to bring you daily updates on your Los Angeles Lakers, despite living 5,485 miles away from L.A. in England. You can follow him on Twitter: @RossPickering